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Characteristics of Alice Walker’s Womanism

Entela Bilalli


Alice Walker's womanism came up as a reaction to the marginalization of colored women in the mainstream of feminist critical theory and politics, which tended to regard the experiences of white, middle-class, Western, and heterosexual women as universal, thus, neglecting and making invisible the intricate realities of non-white women within it. Womanism, thus, developed as an answer to feminism and became a tool for the black women to challenge the policies which marginalized them. It is a term rooted in black folk culture and it supports inclusiveness rather than exclusiveness. Womanism advocated the self-sufficiency and confidence of women and at the same time emphasized the need for a strong bond among women to fight all kinds of oppression. Walker provides an explicit definition of the term. She insists that the womanist appreciates herself, her culture, her womanly attitudes, and emotions, her heritage and culture. Womanism celebrates the ideals of black life and encompasses the whole sense of being a woman, especially a black woman. This variety of the meanings clearly shows that the words “womanism” denotes many different things. The aim of this paper is to give a short overview of what womanism is and how it came into existence.

Keywords: womanism, feminism, inclusiveness, marginalization, race. 

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